BAM awards £150m of work on UK’s largest entertainment arena

Iam Fleming, director of BAM Construct in the North West

BAM has awarded almost £150m of construction orders with local firms on the construction of what is said to be the UK’s largest entertainment arena, in Manchester.

BAM began construction of Co-op Live this week, following enabling works since the beginning of the year.

Developer OVG is investing £350m in the project, which is expected to have 400 people working on it daily at its peak.

The three-year construction phase will see the installation of 9,000 tonnes of steelwork provided from a depot in Bolton, while mechanical and electrical works are being undertaken by Manchester-based SES.

Tim Leiweke, chief executive of OVG, said: “The beginning of the construction of Co-op Live is an exciting step in our plans to deliver one of Europe’s best and most sustainable arenas for Manchester.

“Co-op Live is an arena by Manchester, for Manchester, and of Manchester. Since revealing our plans last year, we have remained committed to maximising the benefits it brings to the city and the whole North West. Today’s milestone of £150m in orders for local firms is a proud moment for the project and will help support local jobs and ensure the positive impact of our investment is being felt already.”

Ian Fleming, the director of BAM Construction in the North West, said: “The highly digital way we work allows us to achieve the sustainability demanded by the most ambitious clients in the world and it attracts young entrants to our profession like Arooj Ali. Working smarter means working safer for those 2,000 people that will cross our boundary and using technology and techniques like off-site manufacturing.

“We rely on the quality of our supply chain here in the North West and how well we work with them to integrate all these elements together. Greater Manchester has got the talent and resources we need, and it means BAM’s work here for this northern landmark will boost the local economy and bring big social benefits for people living here, all of which is a source of great pride to me.”

BAM’s first apprentice on site is Arooj Ali, a construction trainee apprentice, said: “I’m eager to be working with BAM on this incredible project and aim to help inspire other young people to enter the industry. I would like to especially encourage ethnic minorities to join, even if they haven’t previously considered doing so. Construction is forever evolving, and we are always faced with new, exciting challenges where no two days are the same.

“Living in the Preston area, people are always talking about the new arena, and hearing about a project that I’ve played a part in creating, has been a brilliant way to continue my career in the construction industry. We’re all excited about the return of live music and events, so being able to hopefully attend these in a new, state of the art venue will be a really rewarding experience.”

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